CHICO, Calif. - Throughout today and into the night, fire crews have to be cautious of the shift in conditions.
At this morning’s briefing, fire crews were prepped about how to handle the new wind shift and the potential of dry lightning.
Public Information Officer Mitch Matlow explained what crews might be experiencing right now.
“Those pyrocumulus clouds can have that 40,000-foot vertical travel and air rushes in,” Matlow said. “The air has to come from someplace and it’s not all coming from the southwest where the prevailing winds are bringing it. It could be coming from the northeast. The winds will be swirling around doing all kinds of weird stuff in drainages. Maybe it’s going to blow upslope, maybe it’s going to blow downslope, or maybe it’s going to blow across the slope. You can’t predict with certainty what’s going to happen in a certain drainage, so firefighters on the ground have to be very cautious.”
A few days ago, fire crews in Montana were in a similar situation and were injured from flames even when they were far from the fire line.
But crews here are prepared.
Every firefighter on the line was briefed on these conditions, have lookouts and know their escape routes and safety zones.
Each firefighter also has an emergency fire shelter and should know how to prep the ground in case it needs to be deployed.
Fire personnel at the camp stressed the importance of evacuations and following their guidance.
Even those who are in an evacuation warning, suggest leaving now to stay ahead.